Sunday, 17 March 2013

IKEA and Marriott Team Up to Launch Millennial-Friendly Budget Hotel Chain

by Mark J. Miller

Inter IKEA, the parent of IKEA, announced last summer that it was partnering with a hotelier to create a new hotel brand that oddly wouldn’t feature any of the Swedish furniture maker’s products. It’s now been confirmed at the Berlin International Hotel Investment Forum that Marriott is the partner and Moxy will be the name of the new affordable hotel chain, which plans to open 150 locations across Europe in the next decade.
“Moxy Hotels is the essence of the next generation traveler, not only Gen X and Y but people with a younger sensibility, for whom contemporary style is paramount,” said Arne Sorenson, president and CEO of Marriott International in a press release. “Every aspect of the hotel was thoughtfully researched and crafted to reflect and deliver on the changing lifestyles and expectations of this fast-growing customer segment.” 
According to TravelBite, this will be Marriott’s first budget brand in Europe. Fifty of those locations should be up and running in the next five years and Inter IKEA will be ponying up $500 million to help out, the Wall Street Journal reports. While the hotels won’t use IKEA furniture, the company has found a way to keep construction costs down in a different way: “Many of the hotels will use rooms prefabricated offsite and then assembled like IKEA furniture, a modular type of construction that is new for Marriott.”
Aiming to draw in the millennial traveler, Moxy will open hotels in Germany, Austria, United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium, The Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Norway and of course, Sweden. The first is expected to open in Milan, Italy next year.
TravelBite reports that each hotel will be between 150 and 300 rooms and is hoping to be LEED-certified. Some of its savings will come from customers who are used to self-service and using new technology, such as mobile check-in and free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel. Each room will have a large flat-screen TV and built-in USB ports in each wall socket. Each hotel will also have two “Plus and Meet” meeting spaces on the first floor that will feature large writing walls, a 56-inch television for presentations and ergonomic seating.
The launch of Moxy goes in quite a different direction from Marriott's latest endeavors, which include the recent opening of the world's tallest hotel, the luxurious JW Marriott Marquis Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. 

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